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Suspected Norovirus at the Hub Gig Harbor Restaurant

Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf
by Steve Metcalf08/06/2018 11:51 a.m.
Updated: 01/04/2019

Update Aug. 10

Since our last update, we received eight more reports of customers who say they got ill after dining at the Hub at Gig Harbor. To date, the number of ill customers is 20. Because case reporting has decreased, this will be our last regular update.

Lab tests on samples from two restaurant employees confirmed norovirus was the source of illness at the food establishment. The employees said they were ill with norovirus-like symptoms around the time customers were exposed.

The employees worked July 26, the same day the customers ate at the restaurant. It’s unclear if the workers were ill at the time, but they could have been contagious.

Most customers reported getting ill July 28.

Norovirus is very contagious and can live on countertops for two weeks. Learn how to prevent norovirus and keep it from spreading.

Update Aug. 7

The Hub at Gig Harbor reopened today. We closed the food establishment yesterday because of suspected norovirus. The restaurant met the necessary requirements to clean and sanitize in order to reopen.

To date, 12 customers have reported getting ill after they said they dined at the restaurant. We initially had reports of four ill customers Aug. 6. The customers ate at the Hub at Gig Harbor July 26.

Two employees said they were ill with norovirus-like symptoms around the time customers were exposed. They worked July 26, but it’s unclear if they were ill at the time but they could have been contagious.

Customers who ate at the Hub Gig at Harbor and became ill should contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report their illness online, or call (253) 798-4712.

Original Post Aug. 6

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is working with the Hub at Gig Harbor Restaurant, 1208 26th Ave. NW in Gig Harbor, on a suspected norovirus outbreak. The Health Department closed the restaurant around 10 a.m. today for at least 24 hours so staff can clean and sanitize the food establishment to ensure the public is no longer at risk of getting ill.

Customers who ate at the Hub Gig at Harbor and became ill should contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report their illness online, or call (253) 798-4712.

Of the 100 people who attended a special event July 26, so far four have reported norovirus-like symptoms. All four are from separate households and reported getting ill 38-45 hours after dining at the restaurant. Most reported getting ill July 28.

Norovirus is highly contagious. It can cause diarrhea and vomiting, often at the same time. Symptoms typically last one-two days. It is the same virus often related to cruise ship outbreaks.

In addition to thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the restaurant, staff will throw out all ready-to-eat foods like vegetables, bread, and cheese. We are interviewing restaurant staff to determine if any of them were ill and worked during the time customers got sick.

The state’s Paid Sick Leave Law means food workers don’t have to face financial hardship when they take time off from work to care of their health. Learn more about paid sick leave on the Labor and Industries website

Cleaning for norovirus

Clean vomit or diarrhea accidents immediately.

Step 1. Remove vomit or poop.

  • Pick up the chunks with paper towels or other disposable material.
  • Soak up liquids with absorbent materials. Use kitty litter or dry oatmeal for carpeted areas.
  • Double bag and discard.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner.

Step 2. Sanitize.

  • Disinfect hard surfaces using 1 2/3 cups of household bleach per gallon of water. Allow for 1 minute of contact time.
  • Sanitize all handles and knobs in your house with the bleach solution.
  • Linens (including clothing, towels, napkins): Wash separately in hot water and dry on high.
  • Steam clean carpets using the highest setting for heat.
  • Avoid cross-contamination (use separate sanitation cloths for bathroom and other surfaces).
  • Clean and disinfect all containers used (e.g., buckets).

Handwashing

Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after cleaning, restroom use and before eating.

If you ate at the Hub at Gig Harbor and became ill, contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report online, or call (253) 798-4712.

Learn more about norovirus and sign up for restaurant closures.

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  1. Updated: 01/04/2019
  2. Updated: 01/03/2019
  3. Updated: 08/10/2018
  4. Updated: 08/07/2018
Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf

by Steve Metcalf

Steve helps share timely and relevant public health information.

 

We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.